Category Archives: Business

User experience online is very similar to the user experience you get when going to a grocery store. You want a pleasant time without any hassle. You want to be able to navigate the store quickly, get what you need right away, head to the checkout line without a wait, and get back home.

It may seem a bit corny to think of UX design in terms of going to your local grocery store, but the experiences are similar. Our customers are visitors to the sites we create, and the groceries are the content in which they came to the site for. For those of us who go to the store, it’s easy for us to pinpoint things that irritate us or think should be improved. However, when it comes to our own designs and user interfaces and the creation of them, we may not be able to point out these irritants ahead of time before users do.

At Linkeo Ltd, we fix this by taking a step back and look for these weak points in our design, so that we don’t cause clients unnecessary frustration and keep visitors on our site so they can get to the content they were looking for.

Here are a few tips to follow:

DO: Provide a similar experience regardless of the device

Visitors are coming to your site using many different types of devices. They can visit your site on their desktop or laptop, tablet, phone, music player, game console, or even their watches. A big part of user experience design is ensuring that no matter how the visitor sees your site, they are getting the same experience they would if they were to visit from another device. A seamless experience across all of your devices helps keep your users on your site regardless of the device they are using.

DO: Provide instantly recognizable and easy-to-use navigation

The key to providing a pleasant user experience for users is to understand that they are in search of content. Provide a user-friendly navigation system that is easy to recognize and easy to use. Design your navigation in a way that gets visitors where they want to go with the least amount of clicks as possible while still being easy to scan and locate where they need to go.

DO: Make the most important thing on the screen the focal point

Users are more likely to quickly scan the screen than they are to read everything there. Therefore, if a visitor or user wants to find content or complete a task, they are going to scan until they find where they need to go. You can help them along by designing where they eyes should focus first, second, etc. (also known as visual hierarchy). Make the important things such as screen titles, login forms, navigation items, or other important content a focal point so visitors see it right away.

DO: Let the user control their browsing experience

When you design a website or user interface, you want to let the user control their browsing and movement through the site or application. It’s been known that things such as auto-play videos, taking away a user’s ability to scroll, music or sounds in the background, and opening links in new tabs/windows irritate users. These elements should be used sparingly and only when appropriate and expected.

DON’T: Letting the design of the site hinder the site’s readability

The design of a site or user interface should never interfere with the user’s ability to consume the content on the screen. This includes having busy backgrounds behind content or poor colour schemes that hinder the site’s readability. Focus on the typography of your site to ensure issues such as line length, line height, kerning, and font choice doesn’t pose issues for readability.

DON’T: Hindering a visitor’s ability to scan the screen

As I mentioned above, users and visitors alike often scan the screen quickly before settling in to read any one particular thing with focus. Users often scan for visual cues such as headings, pictures, buttons, and blocks to know where they should focus their attention. Using appropriate headings that are easily seen, pictures to illustrate points, buttons for navigation, and blocks of content that are unique or important help users scan the screen to find what they need.

DON’T: Fill the screen with non-related content

Going back to the grocery store example, if I’m looking for flour and sugar to bake with, I want to be able to go directly to the baking aisle and find those specific things. Users of your site or interface feel the same way. They want the content they came for without any other interference or distractions. If they are shopping for a t-shirt on your site’s store, they don’t want to see ads or recommendations to buy a new phone.

DON’T: Have several things compete for attention

Much like not filling your site with unrelated content, designing elements that have to fight for attention can also cause confusion and some nervousness in your users unnecessarily. Using visual hierarchy to design the user’s flow around the screen reduces the competitive feeling of different elements. Also, not having things pop up at users (i.e. modal boxes) and other things they have to close out to read your content keeps the focus on the content.

Conclusion

Standing back to take an honest look at your site’s user experience will help greatly reduce any possible frustrations or aggravations users may experience while looking through your site or application to find content or complete a task. With these do’s and don’ts, you can help your visitors out and provide a great user experience.

E-commerce has revolutionised the business world, with a lot of small businesses positively influenced by these changes. With the increased availability and accessibility of creating and implementing an e-commerce platform, large companies are no longer the only ones to enjoy the benefits of selling products online. Small businesses have found success online and these companies have been able to grow beyond their expectations. This article aims to show you how, with the help of the experts at Linkeo Ltd, you too can reap the rewards of an online sales platform.

Attracting a Larger Customer Base

Perhaps the most obvious benefit of e-commerce is how it expands your customer base. If you are a small brick-and-mortar store, you can’t really expect to generate customer numbers beyond what is locally possible. On the other hand, when you set up an e-commerce site, your customers are not bound by geography. You can sell to customers around the world. Even if you don’t want to get started with international shipping, you’ll still be able to sell to a broader audience within your country. The benefit for a small business comes from how the increased amount of sales is generated with little to no additional overhead cost.

Access to Commercial Platforms

In order to enjoy growth in sales, small businesses naturally have to be able to get the word out. You need to ensure the customer base is able to find you and your products online. When your business is small, your website might not always be attractive enough to generate enough visitors. But e-commerce doesn’t just happen on single websites – there are plenty of commercial platforms that are open to all, no matter what the size of the business, like Amazon or Etsy. Small businesses can also be on a level playing field on different shopping portals aimed at helping customers to save money.

Free or Cheaper Promotion

As a follow-on to the above point, e-commerce and the Internet have helped provide free or cheaper promotional options for small businesses. Traditional marketing costs always have small businesses at a disadvantage. The cost of advertising in the newspaper or TV has continued to increase and physical advertising elsewhere can cost thousands. The Internet, on the other hand, provides tons of routes on a much more level playing field.

If your business is not yet promoting itself on social media, then you need to get started immediately. Regular posting on sites like Twitter and Instagram can help drive up sales. The great thing about marketing online is how you can use the power of social media and get your customers to advertise for you. If you can get them to post about your business, you reach more people and you didn’t even have to do anything beyond providing a great service and product.

Not to mention how much easier it is to customise the marketing to suit your customers. If you have a wide customer base, you don’t need that one single ad to suit all – you can use different platforms and marketing methods to reach different segments and ensure your promotional material is always appealing to the person in question.

Better and More Personalised Service

E-commerce has also helped drive sales because of the customisation opportunities. This is especially good for small businesses. As you learn about your customers, you can start offering more personalised solutions. Customers of the modern era love to tweak their products and buy something that isn’t available for everyone else – uniqueness and personality are the big words of the decade, if not century.

Easier Way to Shop and Sell

Overall, e-commerce has made the process a lot easier. Not only can it be easier for you to sell as a small business online, but the customer also benefits from the simplicity and ease of shopping this way. The simplicity can help your small business, as customers tend to look for things online before venturing out in the shops. Therefore, if you can provide a niche service, the customer is likely to opt for the ease of online shopping instead of looking around.

If your business is not yet part of the e-commerce revolution, then hopefully the above points will convince you to join up. You’ll experience higher sales and improved growth as a result. Let us know if you have more questions in the comments below.

As a small or medium business owner, doing payroll is a necessity, but isn’t that much fun. You’re already extremely busy with running your business. You’ve got to oversee everything whilst managing your employees. Whether you’ve got 2 employees or 200, you need to get them paid on the regular. Not every business has the room to build up a bookkeeping and payroll team, which ends up in you, the business owner, paying out employees on your own. That’s why payroll companies, like Nexgen Accountants exist.

Choosing the right payroll service for your company can be quite difficult, which is why we’re going to help you today. We’re going to give you some great tips for choosing the perfect payroll company for your individual needs. Finding payroll companies isn’t difficult, they’re all over the internet. Choosing the right one for your company takes a little bit of research.

1. Figure Out What Your Needs Are

The first thing you should do is figure out exactly what you need. If you’re a small company, you might be able to get away with using a simple application that quickly does payroll for you like Patriot or Intuit.

If you need something a bit more involved, you should outsource your payroll efforts to a company that specialized in payroll. These services are a bit more personalized and you can build a relationship and grow with them.

2. Look at Ease of Use

The whole reason that you’re outsourcing payroll is that it’s time-consuming. The service that you choose should be easy to use. If it’s a payroll company, they shouldn’t ask too many questions because they should know what they’re doing. When you’re using an app, the interface should make sense and you should be able to easily add employees and input info in a few minutes.

3. Reputation

How do you find out if it’s going to be easy before signing up? Look at customer reviews online. There’s no better way to find out how easy and functional a payroll service will be than listening to previous customers. Read Google and Yelp reviews to find out what you’ll be dealing with.

Good reviews are important, but make sure that the company has been operating for a good amount of time and has the proper licenses.

4. Pricing

The other important thing to look at before trying out a payroll service is how much you’ll be paying. This is especially important for small businesses that don’t require as extensive service as larger companies.

First, find out if there are contracts involved. Most of the do-it-yourself apps operate on a monthly subscription service, but some of the companies will have you enter contracts. When this happens, find out how often you’re paying (per pay period or month) as it might have big implications on the total cost.

5. Self-Service

If you don’t want to be fielding all sorts of questions from your employees, you’ll want to ensure that the payroll company you choose has employee self-service. If your employees can log in to view their own payment and tax info, then they won’t need to ask you.

6. Trial Period

Choose a few different payroll companies and go through a trial period with each of them until you find one that works. Many of them will have cheap trial periods to attempt to win you over with good customer service and support.

You’ll know you’ve found the right service when it’s able to meet your needs for the right price, combined with exceptional customer service. Don’t overthink it!

Did you find this article helpful? Then come back and visit our blog for more awesome tips on how to run your small business.

Much of the communication that goes on in business organisations is through written correspondence, which includes e-mail, memoranda, letters, reports, periodicals and proposals.

This article will help you to identify effective business correspondences and will specifically look at e-mails, memos and letters.

Types of Business Correspondence

The use of the proper types of business correspondence can either make or break a business. Having moved on from traditional letters to rapid electronic media, business correspondence is without a doubt one of the most powerful tools in business today.

The most used business correspondence in today’s world include:

Business Emails

Electronic mail otherwise known as e-mail refers to any form of message that is transmitted electronically. The email is perhaps one of the most effective ways of communicating as it is quick, relatively fast, readily available, relatively inexpensive and most of all not dependent on the receivers’ presence. The email is also known as the least formal of all business correspondence.

Emails can be used for the following purposes:

  • Conveying information to friends, family and co-workers.
  • Giving and receiving assignments.
  • Conveying decisions that have been made.
  • Advising staff on urgent matters.
  • Conveying instructions and messages.
  • Marketing of goods and services.
  • Making appointments.

Business Memos

A memo (memorandum) is a written message that is sent internally within the organization. Memos have a twofold purpose: they bring attention to problems and they solve problems. They accomplish their goals by informing the reader about new information like policy changes, price increases, or by persuading the reader to take an action, such as attend a meeting or change a current production procedure. Regardless of the specific goal, memos are most effective when they connect the purpose of the writer with the interests and needs of the reader.

Memos can be used for the following purposes:

  • To inform of a specific purpose.
  • Persuade others to take action.
  • Give feedback on an issue.
  • React to a situation.
  • To communicate due dates or meeting times.
  • Ask for information.
  • To keep staff informed about important events.
  • To confirm discussions or agreements.

Letters

Letters are the most formal of the business correspondence. It is a written message from one organization or individual to another. Its basic function is not only to convey a message but also to influence the recipient. Business letters are highly effective tools that can be used to achieve your purpose.

Letters can be divided into two main categories based on the intended recipients:

1. Business –to – business letters: These are letters that businesses send in normal business situations both internally and externally

2. Business-to- customer letters: These are letters that businesses send to their customers and are usually external.

Different Types of Letters

As letters are the most common form of communication they are used for different functions. The following are examples of some of the different letters that businesses use in their attempt at being efficient.

  • Acknowledgement Letter: This type of letter is written when you want to acknowledge someone for his help or support when you this was requested. The letter can be used to just say thanks for something you have received from someone which is of great help to you.
  • Apology Letter: An apology letter is written for a failure in delivering the desired results. If the person has taken up a task and he failed to meet the target, he can apologize and ask for an opportunity to improve with this type of letter.
  • Appreciation Letter: An appreciation letter is written to appreciate some one’s work in the organization. This type of letter is written by a superior to his junior. An organization can also write an appreciation letter to other organization, thanking the client for doing business with them.
  • Complaint Letter: This is written to show one that an error has occurred and that needs to be corrected as soon as possible. The letter can be used as a document that was used for warning the reader.
  • Inquiry Letter: The letter of inquiry is written to inquire about a product or service. If you have ordered a product and yet not received it then you can write a letter to inquire when you will be receiving it.
  • Order Letter: This letter is as the name suggests is used for ordering products. This letter can be used as a legal document to show the transaction between the customer and vendor.
  • Letter of Recommendation: This type of letter is written to recommend a person for a job position. The letter states the positive aspects of the applicant’s personality and how he/she would be an asset for the organization.

As a businessperson, can you relate to these business correspondences? Please share your comments!

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